Former President John Dramani Mahama has said Ghanaians have already started judging the ruling government, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and know where the country is moving towards in terms of governance.
He has, therefore, advised citizens of the country to tighten their belts as more gloomy days were ahead.
He said before the National Democratic Congress (NDC) left office, the party did a lot which the NPP government could have taken advantage of to build on, but they rather used criticism as their approach, hence the government was messing up with the economy.
The ex-President made the remarks when he addressed a large crowd of people, including some party members, at the Akutunya Lorry Station at Somanya in the Yilo Krobo Municipality at the end of a 16- kilometre unity walk from Kpong.
The three-and half-hours unity walk took the participants, mostly NDC party members and sympathisers, through Kpong, Nuaso, Manyakpongunor, Agomanya and ended at Somanya at exactly 11:30 a.m.
It was the sixth edition since the party started the programme.
Main NPP problem
According to Mr Mahama, the main problem of the ruling government is the over-reliance on the free senior high school (SHS) policy.
He said the NDC government was not against the free SHS programme, as it was a good programme if well implemented, “but the mode of implementation by the NPP is faulty.
The government is using ad hoc measures to implement it.”
“Why can’t we adopt a system of implementation for those who can pay for their children and wards to pay, while those who can’t pay to enjoy the free SHS policy? he asked and added:
“Where we differ is enough preparations in terms of classrooms, dining halls and all other things that go into the full implementation of the policy.”
Former President Mahama added that in real sense the country was not ready for the implementation of the programme, but because the NPP wanted to score political points it went ahead and began the programme with its attendant problems.
He added that “it is time the NPP government brought all stakeholders together to redesign the programme for it to be implemented smoothly, for we don’t want to talk about it in a partisan manner but in our own interest as a country.”
Mr Mahama also mentioned a number of governance issues that were discrediting the ruling government.
They included LPG, National Health Insurance Scheme, petrol, roads, among others.
He cited an example of the Odumase-Krobo to Oterkporlu road which was constructed by the NDC and fully paid for, but the ruling government was finding ways and means of discrediting the party, hence it was disturbing some contractors who have even paid.
He also said the high cost of petrol and LPG was so disturbing that the local people had resorted to the use of charcoal, which is not the best.
He said the NPP was really disappointing Ghanaians. “In fact, the NPP promised Ghanaians the moon, whereas they have not even given us cloud,” he indicated.
The ex-President noted with concern that the NDC party lost the election due to some internal wranglings and not because the NPP won.
“In fact, the NPP did not win, but we lost because of apathy on the part of our members who did not come out in their numbers to vote because of internal issues in the party,” he emphasised.
The former President apologised to all the party members in the country and gave an assurance that the NDC was going to come back if they did their homework well.
“Whatever happened during the last election which sent us to opposition should be forgotten now and forever and let us move forward. It might be the party chairman, the party secretary, or any member of the party from the national to the local level. I say that we as a party sincerely apologise; let us come together and win the battle ahead,” he added.
The ex-President held the large crowd that gathered spellbound during his 40-minute address, with the people urging him to give them more.
He concluded: “Let us concentrate on building of our party. We have accepted the deficit but if we carry out our reorganisation well ‘Insha Allah’ we will come back.”